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Warning. Besides hand-tooled boots, content contains: a big-hearted,
hasty-tempered cowboy, a homeless young woman, an orphaned little girl and a
wild white stallion.
Malloy receives a telegram that his sister and brother-in-law have died and
Kallie, his ten-year-old niece, is on her way to Texas to live with him.
Still reeling from the loss
of his sister, he receives another shock when his childhood friend Randa
Lockhart steps off the stage with Kallie. He’s stunned to see that the little
pigtailed nuisance that tagged after him and his best friend years ago has turned
into a beautiful young woman.
Randa and Kallie have barely
settled in when Coop finds buffalo hunter Marvin Doolin beating the local
blacksmith within an inch of his life for laming his horse. Coop steps in and
when the buffalo hunter tries to kill him, he shoots him. Now Doolin’s four
brothers are out to even the score.
When they go after Randa,
they cross the line. They’re about to find out that’s there’s nothing Coop
won’t do, and no one he won’t track down to protect the two females that have
burrowed hard and fast into his heart.
“Something on your mind?”
That was another thing she’d forgotten.
How easily he read her. Considering her attraction to him, that definitely
wasn’t a good thing. Nerves had her pleating a piece of her skirt between her
fingers. But she looked him in the eye when she spoke. “I was wondering why you
didn’t bring her in the house instead of sticking her in that dark little hut.”
He rocked on his heels and studied her.
“What do you think?”
She gave him a level look, but couldn’t
bring herself to make an accusation. There had to be another explanation. “I
don’t know, Coop. That’s why I’m asking you.”
His face darkened. She could almost see
the anger roll through him. He’d always had a quick temper. Got over it quick
“You think it’s because she was captured
by the Indians and has a half breed son? Come on, Randa. You know me better
“I knew you better than that. It’s been a few years. Men change.”
“So do women. There was a time that
thought would have never entered your head.”
She shrugged. “And I don’t really
believe it now.”
Relief spread like sunshine across his
features. Wiping out the angry.
Just like a popup storm, she
thought. Here and gone.
“So, tell me. Why did you stick her in
that dreary little shed of a building instead of the ranch house? My heart
knows you even if my head questions. What was the reason?”
He drew himself up and looked down his
nose at her. “I don’t make a habit of explaining myself, Miranda.”
She remembered that too. And the fact
that he’d used her full name just went to show the storm wasn’t over.
“But I will.”
He held up a finger. “It’s where we take
all the injured and sick because it’s close to Coosie.” He held up a second
finger. “Yes, it’s dreary and it’s a shed, but it will be theirs. I told Anna
she’s welcome to stay on once she’s better. We can use her help with the
cooking, sewing and cleaning. As time allows, we’ll add a couple of bedrooms
and windows. I figured she’d be more comfortable if she had a place she could
call hers, no matter how small. I know the boy would.”
Remorse washed through her as heat
flooded her cheeks. When had she got so smallminded? There must be some of her
father in her after all. “I’m sorry, Coop. I sometimes forget, no matter how
much trouble you got into, you always led with your heart.”
“You instigated your fair share of that
trouble, Randa.” His voice gruff, his
dark, slashing eyebrows still maintained their downward spiral.
She gave him a playful nudge in the
ribs. “I learned from the best.”
The eyebrows rose to their normal
position and his lips quirked in that lopsided smile that showed a snaggletooth
and made her knees weak.
She’d get over it. She had to.
Bio. Sandra is a vegetarian, animal lover and
avid gardener. She lives with her husband,
their dog and several cats in sunny
Besides all things western, she also writes in
several other genres. She is a category bestselling Amazon author, Eppie
finalist and Golden Ankh Award winner.
Available in E or Paper.